When Hobbits Were Real

  • Published: 23 October 2019
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    Its discoverers named it Homo floresiensis, but it’s often called “the hobbit” for its short stature and oddly proportioned feet. And it’s been at the center of a major controversy in the field ever since. Was it its own species? Or was it really just one of us? Or, could it even have descended from a whole lineage of hominins that we don’t even know about?

    Thank you to these paleoartists for allowing us to use their wonderful illustrations:
    Julio Lacerda: 252mya.com/gallery/julio-lacerda
    Ceri Thomas: alphynix.tumblr.com/
    Franz Anthony: 252mya.com/gallery/franz-anthony
    Fabrizio De Rossi: 252mya.com/gallery/Fabrizio-De-Rossi

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    References: docs.google.com/document/d/1_m5Cr8QO358MZf69S18ba50RkGLL7Ew46i5ITAbHsCs/
  • Science and Technology Science and Technology

Comments • 935

  • PBS Eons
    PBS Eons   3 weeks back

    We have a small update on this topic: A researcher who works at the hobbit site of Liang Bua reached out to us on social media to point out that the evidence for Homo floresiensis using fire comes from papers published before the dating of the site was revised. More recent research says that the evidence for fire in the cave comes from a time period after the hobbits were gone and suggests that modern humans were responsible. There also appears to be no evidence of burned Stegodon bones.

    • smile .as-default
      smile .as-default  9 hours back

      @HelMaschine I don't completely agree because remaking videos are very expensive. However, some videos can be reupload with corrected "TEXT" flashing across the screen. Not the most professional, but I would respect this much more. Otherwise, a pinned comment is kind of okay for now, until this channel gets more funding

    • the artwoolf
      the artwoolf  15 hours back

      Imagin cloneing a human species but then someone has to voluntarily be a surget for such humans...

    • Lost Aquarian
      Lost Aquarian  3 days back

      @T C so is the fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien

    • T C
      T C  4 days back

      Although I agree with the both of you, the videos are overall interesting

    • HelMaschine
      HelMaschine  5 days back

      @MrTotosaurus yeah, at this point the video is spreading misinformation and should be taken down and revised.

  • Frederick Kintanar
    Frederick Kintanar  6 minutes back

    Great video, it's nice to get an overview of the latest research on Southeast Asian hominins. But it looks like we are only somewhere in the middle of a wave of discovery, so please provide an update video as more results come out, including ideas about how H. luzonensis might fit in with a braided stream view of species development. I'd also love to see a video about current thinking on the origins of language in this braided stream, such as the significance of genetic research by Carina Schlebusch and others on the genetic ancestry of extant hunter-gatherer and herder populations from southern Africa, from before the Bantu expansion. Surely there is a prima facie case that full human language dates back to the most recent common ancestor of extant humans, and that the clade that gave rise to the pre-mixing population of anatomically-modern humans in southern Africa already had the capacity and practice of full language. When was that? 300-400 thousand years ago? A long time before Chomsky's proposal of a single mutation some 70,000 years ago as part of a "behavioral modernity" package. And if full language was around back then, there may be a case (and evidence I don't know about) for Neanderthals and Denisovans having at least some elements of human language. Models of what cognitive and communicative capacities and practices they had may eventually be falsifiable as new data from genes, bones and stones is discovered. So what were the cognition and (proto-)language capacities of H. floresiensis and H. luzonensis? Inquiring minds want to know.

    • 1joshjosh1
      1joshjosh1  1 days back

      It's like my neighbour across the street

      • Pupixario
        Pupixario  1 days back

        Gets born a manlet - Archeologists: Oh, it's a hobbit :D

        • What’s Kraken
          What’s Kraken  2 days back

          Nibbits 🤔🤔🤔 ???

          • Alan Harvey
            Alan Harvey  2 days back

            Kinda hope whoever did the original dating got fired... off by 100,000 years is a pretty big mistake.

            • Hehe yea boii
              Hehe yea boii  2 days back

              somewhere in another world:WHEN HUMAN WHERE REAL

              • Fanso Nate
                Fanso Nate  2 days back

                Just midgets

                • Thexchumxbucket
                  Thexchumxbucket  2 days back

                  We’re still real

                  • Pedro's Vids.
                    Pedro's Vids.  3 days back

                    Ark Survival characters were real

                    • ابليس اعرج
                      ابليس اعرج  3 days back

                      What if it was a midget with a smol head

                      • Isabella Nellis
                        Isabella Nellis  3 days back

                        I wish I knew about the species before I read the hobbit in class because my teacher said that hobbits aren’t real. I wish I could’ve said but they are though

                        • Michael Castro
                          Michael Castro  3 days back

                          I know science doesn’t consider local folklore to fit with actual history but here in Micronesia many island cultures have legends about little island spirits or dwarf-like people that populated some islands before our ancestors arrived on our boats. It’s very interesting to think that some of these legends might have some basis in reality.

                          • Zack Horton
                            Zack Horton  3 days back

                            Of course they are! I am chatting to one right now.

                            • Step Stacker
                              Step Stacker  3 days back

                              Are these scientists and researchers the same ones that still deny the existence of a 900 pound ape living in the woods behind my house?

                              Takeoff your blinders everybody big foot is very freaking real and not very friendly. Don’t believe me check out Sasquatch chronicles here on YouTube

                              • Mirko Krizmanić
                                Mirko Krizmanić  3 days back

                                Why humans grow so slowly?

                                • Hector
                                  Hector  4 days back

                                  Wouldn't they have been terribly inbred? There must have been a very small population on Flores, for a very long time.

                                  • Moses Brown
                                    Moses Brown  4 days back

                                    Simple, it's just a mash up of primate bones.

                                  • Sloth Merchant
                                    Sloth Merchant  5 days back

                                    Or is it a midget

                                    • More or Less
                                      More or Less  5 days back

                                      If we knew every mystery of human history (all of it) I have a lurking feeling that we would be completely blown away and have our entire perceptions on reality irreversibly altered.

                                      • Liz Torres
                                        Liz Torres  5 days back

                                        Very interesting

                                        • Stephanie Coulter
                                          Stephanie Coulter  5 days back

                                          Why are you speaking so quickly? Please slow down, we’re trying to learn. Thank you

                                          • David Rodriguez
                                            David Rodriguez  5 days back

                                            *Sauron wants to know your location*

                                            • David Rodriguez
                                              David Rodriguez  5 days back

                                              *Frodo and Sam want to know your location*

                                              • David Rodriguez
                                                David Rodriguez  5 days back

                                                *J . R . R Tolkein wants to know your location*

                                                • NormanNorthman
                                                  NormanNorthman  5 days back

                                                  They are talking about bringing back the woolly mammoths via DNA extraction and cloning it by crossing it with an Asian elephant.
                                                  Could the same be done with the hobbit by crossing it with the DNA of someone who is exceptionally small?

                                                  • Jeramey Chan
                                                    Jeramey Chan  5 days back

                                                    Could it just be a midget

                                                    • PC Principal
                                                      PC Principal  5 days back

                                                      “When Kim Kardashian was real.”

                                                      Fixed it for Kanye.

                                                      • Winter Noor
                                                        Winter Noor  5 days back

                                                        oh that's explained why indonesian are shortest people in the world

                                                        • granskare
                                                          granskare  6 days back

                                                          Denisonvans had emigrated to the are of New Guinea, etc.

                                                          • Pepper
                                                            Pepper  6 days back

                                                            nice video PBS

                                                            • 森アンドレ
                                                              森アンドレ  6 days back

                                                              What? Were real? Damn, with my 155cm and 39 years, I‘m telling you guys, we never actually left the face of this planet. Tuh, how dare you? 😤

                                                              • Anthony Rabadi
                                                                Anthony Rabadi  7 days back

                                                                SMALL BRAIN!

                                                                • MH Ace
                                                                  MH Ace  7 days back

                                                                  Issa Midget

                                                                  • MH Ace
                                                                    MH Ace  7 days back

                                                                    So do you think their is going to be another species after homo sapians? (i spelled it wrong idc)

                                                                    • MH Ace
                                                                      MH Ace  7 days back

                                                                      Just because I’m watching this im going to watch the hobbit when i finish

                                                                      • magnvss
                                                                        magnvss  1 weeks back

                                                                        What is clear is that there were (probably) a plethora of hominid cousins out there around the world... until we arrived. We were the Borg of hominid evolution. Resistance was futile.

                                                                        • Ali Awad
                                                                          Ali Awad  1 weeks back

                                                                          I think that's just a dude with dwarfism

                                                                          • Meat for all
                                                                            Meat for all  1 weeks back


                                                                            • Mel Lane
                                                                              Mel Lane  1 weeks back

                                                                              Yes yes, I'm sure this is just as valid as Lucy was. Ha ha ha. Keep looking people.

                                                                              • Milo Estobar
                                                                                Milo Estobar  1 weeks back

                                                                                There were alot of hobbits back then, but because there are no FBI before, they went extinct.

                                                                                • Milo Estobar
                                                                                  Milo Estobar  1 weeks back

                                                                                  they're real, in south east asia...

                                                                                  • Lee Readman
                                                                                    Lee Readman  1 weeks back

                                                                                    thankyou very interesting

                                                                                    • dave maximo
                                                                                      dave maximo  1 weeks back

                                                                                      I think it was found in Philippines

                                                                                    • cybercroneca
                                                                                      cybercroneca  1 weeks back

                                                                                      Was she not the one they called Lucy when she was first found?

                                                                                      • MegaJf16
                                                                                        MegaJf16  1 weeks back

                                                                                        Are these scientists stupid? They really think a human born 40,000 with all those deficiencies would be able to survive until adulthood. It was survival of the fittest for ancient humans, and these guys clearly weren't at the top of the food chain.

                                                                                        • Some9uy
                                                                                          Some9uy  2 weeks back

                                                                                          stones and bones baybee

                                                                                          • alajsj T
                                                                                            alajsj T  2 weeks back

                                                                                            Ahhh floridis man, wonder if they had whack records too